Half of nurses in Spain consider layoffs since pandemic

by Lorraine Williamson
nurses consider quitting

MADRID – Almost half of the nurses in Spain have considered quitting their profession since the corona pandemic. The appalling staff shortage and the pandemic that is pushing mental health to the limit are the biggest culprits.

This is 46.5% of nurses who made this consideration in the past two years, according to the macro survey of the General Council of Nurses in Spain. In-depth research shows that no less than 85% of the employees surveyed suffer from psychological problems. Of these, a third suffer from depression, six in ten suffer from insomnia and almost 68% suffer from anxiety disorders. 

Situation in Spanish healthcare untenable and worrying 

The macro survey was conducted among 19,300 nurses in the first weeks of January 2022. All results show that the situation has become ‘unsustainable’ and ‘worrying’. This is especially among those working in intensive care, primary care, social health, and emergency departments. 

Pandemic death blow for healthcare profession in Spain 

According to the General Council of Nurses, the pandemic is the death knell for the profession. The nurses are initially at the front of the line of fire, which means that they become infected twice as often than the average Spaniard. In addition, they have been working under extreme pressure for almost two years, which is clearly leaving a mark on the mental health of these people. 

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Almost 17% healthcare staff had to take sick leave 

Not only do almost half of the nurses consider quitting work. According to the survey, 16.5% have had to take sick leave due to anxiety, stress, or mental exhaustion. 

As a result of this situation, the work-life balance, workload, recognition of the profession, and salary are judged to be largely unsatisfactory by nurses. Almost all nurses (99%) feel insufficient recognition for their profession and almost all (92%) are convinced that measures are needed to tackle problems such as overload and physical and mental exhaustion. 76% of people say they are willing to demonstrate for this. 

Spain has been struggling with a chronic staff shortage for years 

After presenting the survey figures, the General Council of Nurses took the opportunity to address the chronic staff shortage and harsh working conditions in this sector. The uncertain contracts, the low salary, and the ever-increasing workload are disastrous for the survival of this profession. 

The main solution is more staff. The Council said it needed between 33% and 100% more staff to start making improvements in this sector. 

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